One of the top reasons homeowners want to install a fence on the property is for security. Keeping intruders out is the primary motivation for many people. However, before you buy, you need to what to consider before choosing a security fence and having it installed.
The most important thing to consider is the degree or level of security you actually need. Many standard fences provide a minimal level of security. A fence that provides more security can be found by looking specifically at residential security fencing. If you’ve had a frightening experience in the past, you may be motivated to build a wall around your house that is fitting for a castle. Curb that impulse and start doing your homework. It can be very empowering.
Look at your home and property from a burglar’s perspective. If you find that to be difficult, enlist the help of trusted adults and even older teens. Ask them how they would get in, without keys, if they had to. This will help you identify security issues. Be sure to consider predictable family patterns and routines, as well as home and property vulnerabilities. Note these things, as well as the strong points that inhibit access.
No Hide and Seek
It might be tempting to get a fence that people can’t see through, such as a privacy fence. However, this is one of the things burglars look for when they considering robbing a house – low visibility. They want to get in and out without being seen. Tall privacy fences, with solid panels, provide “cover” for intruders and can “hide” trespassers’ activities.
If security is the main function of the fence, you want something that’s open and easily seen through, like a wrought iron, chain-link, or metal mesh fence. Contrary to popular belief, most burglaries happen during daylight hours, when the homeowners are away. Make it easy for the neighbors, security guards, and people driving by to keep an eye on your property for you.
No Climb Zone
Since adults can be over 6 feet tall, you want a fence that is at least 8 feet tall so an intruder cannot climb over it easily. Check with your city or HOA guidelines. There may be rules concerning how tall the fence can be.
Avoid horizontal rails when possible. If you must have them, they should be as low and/or high on the fence as possible. Horizontal rails can provide intruders a “step” or handhold, making it easier to climb the fence.
When planning where you want your fence, make sure that you don’t give burglars a leg-up, so to speak. Plan to cut down trees or shrubs that could potentially be climbed, allowing the intruder to jump over the fence. This should be done before your fence is installed.
Make your fence and the area around it intimidating. This is often accomplished by adding spikey or pointed elements to the fence top. You may also want to incorporate a daunting border at the bottom of the fence. This can be done with a wide planting area, which contains low-growing prickly or thorny plants such as hawthorne, rose bushes, bougainvillea, etc. Trim them frequently to keep them from functioning as a hiding place.
No Free Pass
We’ve already talked about how to deter intruders from climbing the fence. But, climbing it isn’t the only way a burglar can bypass your fence. Avoid giving intruders a free pass under, around, or through your fence. Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind as you choose a security fence.
Make sure the fence is securely anchored in the ground. To prevent a burglar from digging under the fence, embed posts in a trench of concrete all the way around your property. If this is not an option in your case, embed the main supporting posts.
Depending on the level of security you need, you may be considering a chain-link fence. But keep in mind that these can be cut easily, allowing the intruder to make his own doorway in the fence. For a higher level of security, choose a sturdier fencing material, like wrought iron fencing, which consist of panel sections and connectors.
A security fence with open passageways makes little sense. Intruders can simply walk right in. Close up open entries by adding a gate that can be locked. Some fences may offer a “hidden” gate, which is hard to identify as an entry point.
Most fences add some degree of security. However, you’ll need to know what to consider before choosing a security fence. If you get the wrong fence for your needs, you may end up over paying or getting features that you don’t actually need.